Diabetes Forecast

Do You Need a Push?

By Christy L. Parkin, MSN, RN, CDE, Associate Editor , ,

What motivates you to do a better job in managing your diabetes? I often hear the frustration and sense of hopelessness when things don't go as well as expected—mostly because of high blood sugars and inability to lose weight. Diabetes is a demanding disease, and there are no vacations. It's always there in the back of your mind every time you eat, exercise, or take your medication. It's a constant juggling act to think like a pancreas. Sometimes a person or a book presents itself, inspiring us to do more in terms of our health. Inspiration comes in many forms, and it's different for everyone. I want to share a couple of books that may inspire you to think differently about the way you view your diabetes.

Although this book has been out for several years now, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is worth picking up again and again to read his powerful and inspiring words. Pausch was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and a devoted husband and father of three who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 45. His "last lecture," before an audience of 400 students and colleagues, challenged them to think about what wisdom they would impart to the world if they knew it was their last chance … if they had only a few months left. He chose to live every moment like it was his last.

Pausch told humorous stories of his childhood and lessons he wanted his children to learn. "The reason to turn brick walls into motivating forces is that if we don't, they become excuses as to why we can't accomplish things," he said. "We can all do much more than we think, once we decide to do it. Remember, you deserve the best life has to offer. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."

The second book, The Book of Better: Life With Diabetes Can't Be Perfect. Make It Better, is by Chuck Eichten, a design director at Nike. This isn't your average book about diabetes; each page is a colorful and visual delight—inspired by his design background—that offers a compilation of what Eichten has called the "idiot things, and the occasional smart thing, I did along the way to making my diabetes better." Eichten was diagnosed with type 1 in 1975 at the age of 13. "With diabetes … even a little better is still better. And better, for all its foot-dragging, is the history of diabetes," Eichten writes. "Maybe we can't make diabetes go away. Maybe we can't make it perfect. … But we absolutely can make it better."

Sometimes it helps to be pushed beyond our comfort zone. What's your inspiration to live just a little better?



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